Hello, friends! Time to talk about some more books on my TBR! This is a series where I talk about a specific subset of books on my TBR. I’ve done a few posts of really long lists of books on my TBR, so for these posts I’m going to try to keep the list fairly small, provide the synopsis from Goodreads, and talk about where I found it and why I want to read it.
On Monday, I gave some recommendations for audiobooks, so that’s what we’re talking about today! I tend to try to read non-fiction as audio, so that’s what most of these ended up being.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevado
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.
But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.
So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.
Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.
This is the sole fiction book on this list. But I recently mentioned it on my post about books I wasn’t sure I would enjoy, and a ton of people recommended the audiobook. So, I definitely plan on trying the audiobook, maybe in conjunction with the physical book!
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
As the United States celebrates the nation’s “triumph over race” with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of young black men in major American cities are locked behind bars or have been labeled felons for life. Although Jim Crow laws have been wiped off the books, an astounding percentage of the African American community remains trapped in a subordinate status–much like their grandparents before them.
In this incisive critique, former litigator-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander provocatively argues that we have not ended racial caste in America: we have simply redesigned it. Alexander shows that, by targeting black men and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of color blindness. The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community–and all of us–to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.
Like I mentioned, I really like listening to nonfiction books as audiobooks, especially when they’re a little more facts-oriented. This book sounds very informative and interesting, so I definitely want to give it a shot!
Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years by Julie Andrews Edwards
With this second memoir, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, Andrews picks up the story with her arrival in Hollywood and her phenomenal rise to fame in her earliest films–Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. Andrews describes her years in the film industry — from the incredible highs to the challenging lows. Not only does she discuss her work in now-classic films and her collaborations with giants of cinema and television, she also unveils her personal story of adjusting to a new and often daunting world, dealing with the demands of unimaginable success, being a new mother, the end of her first marriage, embracing two stepchildren, adopting two more children, and falling in love with the brilliant and mercurial Blake Edwards. The pair worked together in numerous films, including Victor/Victoria, the gender-bending comedy that garnered multiple Oscar nominations.
Cowritten with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, and told with Andrews’s trademark charm and candor, Home Work takes us on a rare and intimate journey into an extraordinary life that is funny, heartrending, and inspiring.
I recently listened to Sally Field’s memoir, and I really enjoyed it. So I’m hoping Julie Andrews narrates her memoir as well, because I think it would work really well.
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown
Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable, or to dare greatly. Whether the arena is a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation, we must find the courage to walk into vulnerability and engage with our whole hearts.
In Daring Greatly, Dr. Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability. Based on twelve years of research, she argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection. The book that Dr. Brown’s many fans have been waiting for, Daring Greatly will spark a new spirit of truth—and trust—in our organizations, families, schools, and communities.
I have watched all of Brené Brown’s Ted Talks and her Netflix special three times, and can genuinely say that it changed my life, which I never say about self-help-types of things. So her book is obviously on my TBR, and I think it would work really well as an audiobook, especially for me.
Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
Prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial, Vincent Bugliosi held a unique insider’s position in one of the most baffling and horrifying cases of the twentieth century: the cold-blooded Tate-LaBianca murders carried out by Charles Manson and four of his followers. What motivated Manson in his seemingly mindless selection of victims, and what was his hold over the young women who obeyed his orders? Here is the gripping story of this famous and haunting crime. 50 pages of b/w photographs.
I’m very intrigued by the Manson murders, but every books I’ve tried to read about them has been painfully boring, which is a talent really. So I have decent hopes for this one, and think that the audiobook will help get through it.
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
“We were eight years in power” was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. Now Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America’s “first white president.”
But the story of these present-day eight years is not just about presidential politics. This book also examines the new voices, ideas, and movements for justice that emerged over this period–and the effects of the persistent, haunting shadow of our nation’s old and unreconciled history. Coates powerfully examines the events of the Obama era from his intimate and revealing perspective–the point of view of a young writer who begins the journey in an unemployment office in Harlem and ends it in the Oval Office, interviewing a president.
I loved Coates’s other nonfiction, but have heard mixed things about this book. So I’m hoping the audiobook will be good and help me get through it.
So there are some books I want to read as audiobooks! I actually have two of these on hold at the library, so I’m excited to hopefully read them soon! But have you read any of them? What were your thoughts? Are there any books on your TBR you want to read as audio? Let me know!
Also if you have any requests for things you’d like to see on my TBR, let me know!